Local Shopping To Be Scrutinised

9th August 2018
Jersey’s out-of-town shopping precincts will be examined as part of a new review of shopping in the island.
The likes of Red Houses at Les Quennevais and St John’s Village will be included as a Scrutiny panel probes the government’s retail policy.
It was last looked into four years ago.
The Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel will consider the impact of the new 20% retail tax, and struggles shops face -such as overheads, customer parking and competition from online retailers.

Library photo

The panel’s chairman, Deputy Kirsten Morel, says they want to examine what more the government could do to improve shopping in Jersey:

“We often see news stories about the struggling retail sector in Jersey and we want to explore why that is. Is it because of high rents, parking difficulties, or an increase in people turning to online shopping? Our review will explore all of these issues and our findings, with recommendations, will be published within the next few months.”

The scrutiny panel will also look back to a previous review into the island’s retail policy, which was conducted back in 2014. They’ll look back to see if issued brought up four years ago have been acted on, including:

  • Not enough engagement between the Economic Development Minister and retailers
  • The threat online retailers pose on the high street
  • Making the high street more attractive to shoppers, encouraging people to buy locally

It’s not just retailers the scrutiny panel wants to hear from. Deputy Morel told Channel 103 they want to hear from shoppers too:

“Economic policy for too long has been viewed on its own, without understanding the effect the policy has on the society and environment in which we live.

“For me, that’s why this is an important first review. It ties in with those wider aspects and it’ll show how economic policy needs to be looked at rather than just ‘business’ – it’s a lot more than just business, it shapes our entire lives on this island.”

The new review will aim to:

  • Identify challenges and opportunities facing the island’s retail sector
  • Assess how much retail contributes to the island – economically, socially and environmentally
  • Examine whether current government policies and strategies are fit for purpose
  • Follow up on previous accepted recommendations and whether they’ve been actioned
  • Look at the effect of the 20% retail tax and the effect on business’s profits

If you’ve got any experiences of the island’s retail sector that you want to share with the review panel, you can get in touch by emailing scrutiny@gov.je, or writing to:

The Scrutiny Office
Morier House
Halkett Place
St Helier

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